Cannabis has become a popular ingredient in kitchens around the world [1]. Indeed, as more people explore the culinary potential of marijuana and hemp, the ability to create delicious and effective cannabis-infused dishes has become an invaluable skill. This article will guide you through the essentials of cooking with cannabis, from understanding the basics to mastering sweet and savory recipes.

Understanding cannabis and its components

What is cannabis?

Cannabis, often referred to as hemp or marijuana based on the amount of Delta-9 THC it contains, is a plant that contains various cannabinoids, including THC and CBD, which have different effects on the body. Primarily, THC is known for its psychoactive effects, while CBD is celebrated for its wellness benefits [2].

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Decarboxylation: the key to activating THC and CBD

When you use cannabis in cooking, you decarboxylate it. Importantly, this process activates Delta-9 THC by removing an extra carboxyl group, making the cannabinoids available for the body to absorb. To decarboxylate cannabis, evenly spread small pieces of cannabis flower on a baking sheet and heat it in an oven at 220°F (105°C) for about 30-45 minutes. Remember, do not cook longer than this, or the potency of the cannabinoids may diminish [3].

Basic cannabis-infused ingredients


Cannabutter is a common base ingredient for many cannabis edibles. To make cannabutter, you will need:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup decarboxylated cannabis
  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the cannabis and let it simmer on low heat for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth to remove the plant material.
  4. Store the cannabutter in a sealed container in the refrigerator [4].

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Cannabis-infused coconut oil

Cannabis oil is another versatile and healthful ingredient. Notably, coconut oil’s saturated fats differ from animal fats, making it especially healthful. For instance, over 50% of the fats in coconut oil are medium-chain fatty acids, such as lauric acid, which is known for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

To make cannabis-infused coconut oil, follow these steps:

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup decarboxylated cannabis
  1. Heat the coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat.
  2. Add the cannabis and simmer on low heat for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth to remove the plant material.
  4. Store the infused oil in a sealed container in a cool, dark place [5].

(If you prefer, you may use another kind of oil instead of coconut oil. For example, olive oil or canola oil are good alternatives.)

Recipes for cannabis-infused edibles

Sweet treats

Cannabis brownies

  • 1 box brownie mix
  • 1 cup cannabutter
  1. Preheat your oven according to the brownie mix instructions.
  2. Prepare the brownie mix, replacing the regular butter with cannabutter.
  3. Pour the mixture into a greased baking pan and bake as directed.

(Or, if you want to make brownies from scratch, use any brownie recipe and replace the oil or butter ingredient with cannabutter.)

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Cannabis cookies

  • 1 cup cannabutter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Cream together the cannabutter and sugar.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla extract, then mix in the flour and baking powder until combined.
  4. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a greased baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes [6].

(If you choose, mix in chocolate chips, nuts, or sprinkles!)

Savory dishes

Cannabis-infused pasta sauce

  • 1 cup cannabis-infused oil
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat the cannabis-infused oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and garlic, cooking until softened.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper.
  4. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally [7].

Cannabis-infused salad dressing

  • 1/2 cup cannabis-infused oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Adjust seasoning to taste.


Cannabis-infused smoothies

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh berries
  • 1 tbsp cannabis-infused honey (See recipe.)
  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Cannabis-infused tea

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp cannabis-infused oil
  • 1 tea bag of your choice
  1. Boil the water and steep the tea bag as usual.
  2. Stir in the cannabis-infused oil.

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Tips for cooking with cannabis

Dosage and potency

Start with low doses to avoid overconsumption. For instance, calculate the defined cannabinoid percentages in your cannabis products to understand the potency of your homemade edibles. This way, overindulgence will be less likely. Multiply the dosage for one serving by the entire dish and make sure the cannabis is evenly distributed [8].

Flavor considerations

Balancing the flavor of cannabis with other ingredients is crucial. For example, herbs and spices can enhance the overall taste of your dish, masking any strong cannabis flavors. Alternately, use delectable cannabis terpenes from Earthy Select to fine-tune your flavor.

Cooking temperature and techniques

Maintaining the potency of cannabis during the cooking or baking process requires careful temperature control. Thus, avoid high temperatures that can degrade cannabinoids. Ideally, cook at medium to low heat when possible [9].

Safety and legal considerations

Always keep cannabis edibles away from children and pets. Additionally, label your homemade edibles clearly to avoid accidental consumption. To ensure legality, be sure to stay informed about local laws regarding cannabis use and edibles [10]. Cooking with cannabis can be fragrant – consider this if you’re in an apartment or have nosy neighbors.

Key takeaway: cooking with cannabis for optimal enjoyment

Cooking with cannabis offers a unique way to enjoy the benefits of this versatile plant. By following these recipes and tips, you can create delicious and potent cannabis-infused foods safely and effectively. Experiment with different recipes and ingredients to find what works best for you, and always enjoy your creations responsibly.

With this guide, you’re well on your way to becoming a master at making edibles. Enjoy the process and the tasty results. Bon appétit!

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Read more: How to Host a Cannabis-Infused Dinner Party with the Best Edibles

Medical Disclaimer / Legal Disclaimer – Information is provided for educational purposes. It does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice or medical advice. We attempt to be accurate and up-to-date, but the legality of cannabinoids and the science of cannabis are evolving. The author is neither a legal professional nor a medical expert. Before buying or using any products, you should check with your local authorities and medical providers.


  1. Cannabis-Infused Foods Exploding in Popularity
  2. What is Cannabis?
  3. How to Decarboxylate Cannabis
  4. How to Make Cannabutter, Step-by-Step
  5. Food & Wine: Cannabis-Infused Olive Oil
  6. Basic Cookie Recipe
  7. An Easy THC-Infused Pasta Sauce Recipe
  8. Fudgy Weed Brownies: Calculating THC Percentages
  9. What Temp to Infuse Weed?
  10. Marijuana Legality by State – Updated June 6, 2024
  11. THC Dosage: How Much Should You Take?
  12. How to Disguise the Taste of Weed in Edibles

Frequently Asked Questions

Proper dosing is crucial to ensure a pleasant and safe experience. As a rule, consider the potency you desire per serving when making infusions. For instance, a common starting dose is 5-10 milligrams of THC per serving, but with CBD that may be more. Always start with a lower dose, especially if you are new to cooking with cannabis, and wait at least 1-2 hours after consuming to gauge the effects before having more [11].

The most popular methods for infusing cannabis into food are through making cannabutter or cannabis-infused oil. To make cannabutter, chop up the bud and simmer it with butter for several hours (if you’re using cannabis with THC or THCa, this will decarboxylate the cannabis and activate the THC). Next, strain out the plant material and use the butter in your recipes. Alternately, use a similar process for cannabis-infused oil, yet use olive oil, coconut oil, or other cooking oils instead of butter. These infused bases enhance various dishes, from baked goods to savory meals [4,5].

The flavor of cannabis can be quite strong and earthy. However, to balance this, use complementary flavors in your recipes. For example, ingredients like chocolate, vanilla, and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg) can help mask the cannabis taste in sweet dishes. Alternately, for savory dishes, you can use garlic, onions, and robust herbs  like rosemary and thyme can be effective. Additionally, starting with well-cured, high-quality cannabis can result in a better flavor profile. If the taste is still too strong, consider using less cannabis or pairing it with other strong flavors that can mask or complement the taste [12].